Microsoft Corporation (MS) is a US multinational technology company based in Redmond, Washington. Develops, manufactures, licenses, supports and sells software for computers, consumer electronics, personal computers and related services. Its best-known software products are the line of Microsoft Windows operating systems, the Microsoft Office suite and Internet Explorer and Edge web browsers. Its most important hardware products are the Xbox video game consoles and the Microsoft Surface line of personal computers with touch screen. As of 2016, it is the world’s largest software maker by revenue and one of the most valuable companies in the world. The word “Microsoft” is a combination of “microcomputer” and “software.” Microsoft ranks 30th in the Fortune 500 ranking of 2018 for the largest corporations in the United States for total revenue.
Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen on April 4, 1975 to develop and sell BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800. It emerged to dominate the personal computer operating system market with MS-DOS in the mid-1980s, followed by Microsoft Windows. . The company’s initial public offering (IPO) of 1986, and the subsequent increase in the price of its shares, created three billionaires and an estimated 12,000 millionaires among Microsoft employees. Since the 1990s, it has diversified more and more from the operating systems market and has made a series of corporate acquisitions, with its largest acquisition of LinkedIn for $ 26.2 billion in December 2016, followed by its acquisition of Skype. Technologies for $ 8.5 billion in May 2011.
As of 2015, Microsoft is dominant in the market in the market for operating systems compatible with IBM PC and in the office software package market, although it has lost most of the operating system market in general with Android. The company also produces a wide range of other consumer and business software for desktops and servers, including Internet searches (with Bing), the digital services market (via MSN), mixed reality (HoloLens), computing in the cloud (Azure) and software development (Visual Studio).
Steve Ballmer replaced Gates as CEO in 2000, and then imagined a “devices and services” strategy.  This began with the acquisition of Danger Inc. in 2008, entering the personal computer production market for the first time in June 2012 with the launch of the Microsoft Surface line of tablet computers; and later forming Microsoft Mobile through the acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services division. Since Satya Nadella assumed the position of Executive Director in 2014, the company has reduced hardware and focused on cloud computing, a measure that helped the company’s shares reach their highest value since December 1999. .
In 2018, Microsoft overtook Apple as the most valuable company listed on the stock exchange in the world after being dethroned by the technological giant in 2010.